LionsGate Records digitally releases music from the STARZ Original Television Series Blindspotting, composed by Ambrose Akinmusire and Michael Yezerski. Available everywhere today, the album features the co-composers’ ardent score, intermixed with spoken word elements by the cast, including Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Benjamin Earl Turner, and Rafael Casal.
The series is adapted from the film Blindspotting (from writing team Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs), which was released in 2018 with critical acclaim all around. Three years later, the TV series has accomplished the same feat with a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. AV Club says, “Blindspotting is one of the best film-to-tv adaptations in years.” The complete season of Blindspotting is available for streaming on STARZPLAY.
A distinct element of the series is the music, which plays a major role in the storytelling in each of the eight episodes. Michael Yezerski scored the original film and returns to score the show with Ambrose Akinmusire. The composers share a similar aesthetic yet have different musical roots, which allowed them to create something completely new that works superbly for this complex series.
Ambrose Akinmusire states, “I’m grateful to Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, and Keith and Jessica Calder for trusting me to collaborate in the articulation of such a creative and important show. I was born and raised in Oakland, and representing my city—the stories, community, and culture—is personal for me. The project provided an opportunity to produce a score that highlights the complexity of emotions and points of view that are often simplified or overlooked.”
Michael Yezerski remarks, “It's been such an honor to return to the Blindspotting universe. This time around, Ambrose and I were given a unique opportunity—to create a score that actively expresses the emotional journey of the characters. Our music for the show is the heartbeat, the underscore, and the dance – as intricately connected to the drama as the choreography and the camerawork. Ambrose and I come from different corners of the world and yet we found a way to craft a musical language that felt entirely of ourselves, yet true to the spirit of collaboration that permeated all aspects of the production. This was a very special project for us both. I am grateful for the extraordinary amount of trust that Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Keith Calder and Jessica Calder put in us. We couldn't be happier with the reception and acclaim that this truly groundbreaking show is now receiving.”
"Blindspotting” centers on Ashley, who is nipping at the heels of a middle-class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she is forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister. The series stars Jasmine Cephas Jones (“#freerayshawn”) as “Ashley”; Benjamin Turner (recording artist) as “Earl,” who is fresh out of prison, wearing an ankle monitor and just trying to kill time and lay low; Candace Nicholas-Lippman (“Good Trouble”) as “Janelle,” Ashley’s close friend who’s just returned to the neighborhood after spending many years in Bali; Jaylen Barron (“Free Reign”) as “Trish,” Miles’ half-sister, who might be wilder than he is; Atticus Woodward (“Shameless”) as “Sean,” Ashley and Miles’ sweet, smart and energetic son; Helen Hunt (“Mad About You”, “As Good As It Gets”) as “Rainey,” Miles’ mother who has strong opinions and holds family above all else; and Rafael Casal who reprises his role as “Miles,” Ashley’s ride-or-die partner of 12 years and father of their son.
ABOUT AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE
Described by NPR Music as “one of the most acclaimed jazz artists of his generation, a trumpeter of deep expressive resources and a composer of kaleidoscopic vision,” Ambrose Akinmusire crossroads of different musical forms and languages, from post-bop and avant garde jazz to contemporary has made a home at the chamber music and hip-hop to singer-songwriter aesthetics. His 2018 release Origami Harvest features rapper Kool A.D. with the Mivos String Quartet and was named a top album of 2018 by The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times and more.
Akinmusire has received numerous composer commissions: from the Berlin Jazz Festival for “Mae Mae,” a suite based on Mattie May Thomas’s 1939 field recordings; from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Liquid Music Commission (for Origami Harvest); from The Kennedy Center for “Untitled,” featuring MacArthur Fellow Cécile McLorin Salvant and others; from the Hyde Park Jazz Festival Commission for “Banyan,” a work for 12- piece ensemble that builds on Ambrose’s interest in the role of the griot and mentor in social and jazz history; and the Monterey Jazz Festival Commission for “The Forgotten Places” featuring Salvant, Theo Bleckmann and quartet plus clarinet, cello, harp and guitar. More recently, Akinmusire has branched out as a composer and has begun creating music for film and television projects including, most notably, the Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal penned series, Blindspotting.
ABOUT MICHAEL YEZERSKI
Michael Yezerski’s musical works are highly evocative, original, and diverse. From the symphonic grittiness of David Ayer’s The Tax Collector to the quiet drama of Blindspotting; from the avant-garde horror drones of Sean Byrne’s The Devil’s Candy to Elissa Down’s heartfelt Feel the Beat and The Black Balloon; Michael brings a signature musical intensity to every project he takes on.
Michael has been receiving acclaim for his brooding, minimalistic work on FX’s Mr Inbetween, the industrial terror sounds of Keith Thomas’ wondrously terrifying The Vigil and the Stephen Dorff starrer Deputy for FOX / Cedar Park.
Earlier career highlights include HBO’s Only the Dead See the End of War, his first feature film The Black Balloon (winner of 8 AFI/AACTA Awards including Best Picture), PJ Hogan’s Mental, Wolf Creek Series 2, Catching Milat, A Place to Call Home, the Academy Award winning animated short, The Lost Thing and his collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Red Tree. Michael works from Los Angeles and Sydney.
Jeremy [Six Strings]